Gary Slaughter - Author of Sea Stories
USS Cony

Gary Slaughter’s sharing of the details of his emerging from college and enjoying seven years as a junior officer aboard two US Navy destroyers, is amazing in his recapture of so many interesting details. I marvel at the journaling he must have done! There is so much to be learned and treasured by young men heading into a life of adventure, on the high seas and in marriage.....that I want to recommend it to young NROTC graduates and Surface Warfare Officers of the future. Revealed in his book are moments in history which could have reshaped the modern world we live in.
RADM J. C. Breast, USN (Ret.) Nashville, TN



A GREAT READ! Slaughter takes us on a cruise which starts with the evolution of a Michigan farm boy into a commissioned Naval Officer and continues into one of the most dangerous periods in U.S. history - the Cuban Missile Crisis. Slaughter as a young destroyer officer on the USS Cony must communicate with an exhausted Russian submarine commander who is on the verge of making a huge mistake, which would start the Third World War. Slaughter's many vignettes give a vivid glimpse of life at sea on a destroyer.
CAPT Paul Goorjian, USNR (Ret.) Ponte Vedra, FL



Gary Slaughters memoir is a reminder of a far simpler time when the request of a crest fallen adversary for cigarettes and bread could be fulfilled on the spot without reference to a phalanx of State Department and Pentagon lawyers.
CDR Andrew Bradick USN (Ret.) McLean, VA



One good sea story does not always lead to another. It is truly remarkable that Gary Slaughter should have managed to provide sixty good sea stories in chronological sequence describing the life of a young man from the Mid-West through his halcyon youth to that of a highly trained expert in Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW). That these events took place in a decade of change throughout the naval establishment provides the opportunity to share a multitude of situations that will be of interest not only to the military reader but to all that have an interest in history and autobiographical writing.

The task of reading such a military memoir is made easier for the non-military reader in that Gary has concisely and accurately decoded the myriad acronyms used in the Navy as well as providing interesting insights into the Traditions and Customary Usages of the United States Navy.

For the knowledgeable military reader, the stories provide accurate and cogent insights into the events surrounding the Cuban Missile Crisis and the debacle that was the Bay of Pigs invasion. More to the point, Gary has depicted with great accuracy a decade of change within the operating forces of the United States Navy with respect to recruitment, training, and afloat operations between the Korean Police action and the onset of the undeclared Vietnam War.

Gary’s entrance into the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corp. (NROTC) was through one of several Holloway Programs designed to provide high quality, long service Naval Officers to replace the many well qualified officers that left the Navy following the untimely armistice in Korea. His subsequent adventures in ASW were typical of the transition from combating diesel to nuclear powered submarines. His resignation from the Navy reflects on the quality of leadership that was emerging as we entered into an un-winnable war in Vietnam.

The sea stories, in the main, accentuate the positive, downplay the negative and provide a most interesting overview of ten years of dedicated and superior performance during a remarkable period in the history of the United States Navy.
CAPT Earl H. Russell, USN (Ret) Lead Hill, AR



By the mid-1950s, radio, movies, and the, just then available, TV, exposed small-town kids to the world beyond their parents’ lives. As Slaughter shows in his “Prologue,” the military was then the common escape route, though college was an option for those who qualified and could find a way to pay, since there were no guaranteed student loans in 1957. He and many of us found we could combine the two with NROTC (Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps), a double-barreled chance at an excitement beyond out village limits. And boy does he show how quickly those college and Navy adventures can lead to extraordinary responsibility for a young officer, as he becomes a player in an historical nuclear standoff. But the event is classified “Top Secret” so he can’t tell us about it until forty years later.

With amazing recall of people and places, he shows us life in the mid-20th Century America, spiced up with Navy sea stories. These wonderfully detailed stories show what else the Navy offers beyond “Join the Navy and See the World.” You’ll enjoy this personal history of his eleven years of Navy life beyond Owosso, MI.
LT Karl (Chuck) Nuechterlein, USN (Ret.) Naples, FL.



I wish I had read Gary Slaughter’s Sea Stories when I was in high school, contemplating military service. His memoirs are an encyclopedia of events in his naval career that are humorous, empathic, heroic, and tragic. It would have been an eye-opener on what could lay ahead, with some valuable wisdom for maneuvering in confused seas.
LT Les Westerman, USNR Pensacola, FL